Dar es Salaam. At least 1,200 of the 3,000 girls targeted for enrollment in this year’s school calendar through the Secondary Education Quality Improvement Program (Sequip) have already been enrolled, it has been revealed.
In early 2020, the World Bank finally approved the $ 500 million education loan which was delayed following pressure from civil society organizations who raised concerns about the education rights of schoolgirls.
The global lender said education support would directly benefit around 6.5 million high school students (half of them girls) by strengthening public schools and establishing stronger educational pathways for students who drop out. the formal school system.
Until yesterday, of the 3,000 girls targeted who have dropped out of school due to pregnancy and other reasons, have already enrolled in the Institute of Adult Education, which is one of the authorized channels to welcome these students as part of the project support.
The Director of the Institute of Adult Education, Michael Ng’umbi, said the Sequip-AEP project aims to reach girls aged 13 to 21 who have dropped out of secondary education for various reasons, including bad ones. living conditions, early marriage and pregnancy.
He noted that the project aims to reach 12,000 students across the country over a five-year period (2021-2026) of project life under the same institute.
“Currently, the centers that will provide education will be placed closer to the beneficiaries to reduce the cost of access to education and the project also offers training in the ICT system, with the aim of allowing them to enter the system. formal education in the country after all, ”he said.
Dr Ng’umbi also noted that the project was already involved in improving secondary education by improving the quality of education, improving the infrastructure and the teaching environment as well as increasing the performance of targeted students.
He said that so far the main regions for enrolling these students are the coast, the western regions as well as Mwanza and Shinyanga, however, he promised to publish a report on the assessment of the number of students. students enrolled by January 5, 2022.
He said the education was free, urging participants to continue to register in large numbers with the aim of meeting the government’s goal of enrolling 3,000 girls targeted by the project across the country this year.
According to the World Bank, primary school enrollment in Tanzania stood at 8.3 million (2015) and increased to 10.1 million (2018). The number of secondary school enrollments in Tanzania was 1.8 million (2015) and increased to 2.2 million in 2018.
The main lender says at least 300,000 children have not been able to start secondary education due to lack of space in the past two years, while more than 60,000 children drop out of lower secondary education, including 5,500 girls due to pregnancy, per year.
“Many students who drop out of school due to pregnancy want to return to school through adult education, so this project is very important despite the government allowing the group to enter the formal system. ”Said Dr Fumbuka Mshana.